Definition of dreadnought in US English:


(also dreadnaught)


  • 1historical A type of battleship introduced in the early 20th century, larger and faster than its predecessors and equipped entirely with large-caliber guns.

    • ‘There are of course more potent ships to command, specifically destroyers, cruisers and dreadnoughts.’
    • ‘John Fisher was astute enough to support most technical developments - such as submarines and the dreadnoughts - and his impact on naval policy on World War One cannot be disputed.’
    • ‘Instead, for political reasons, he got dreadnoughts - which were then stationed near home.’
    • ‘In addition to these vessels, Congress authorized seven dreadnoughts in 1916 and seven fast battleships in 1940, none of which was finished.’
    • ‘The Admiralty placed its faith in dreadnoughts and Britain's traditional naval ships - and this, to a great extent, did not include submarines.’
  • 2archaic A heavy overcoat for stormy weather.